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Statesman Critic Calls Polvos a Cool Downtown Austin Restaurant

Austin Monthly loved the sardines at neighborhood spot Uncle Nicky’s

Polvos’ queso
Polvos’ queso
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

This week, Statesman critic Matthew Odam reviewed Polvos Mexican Restaurant, a 20-year Austin institution that opened a location downtown last year. While he calls the downtown digs more elegant than the South First location, he notes that it still retains the restaurant’s soul and the menu is the same.

Odam began by noting the restaurant makes its own tortillas, which, while now is used as a sign of hipness, is simply “just the way things should be done.” He praised pretty much every item, from the “thick ropes of melted Monterey Jack cheese” in the choriqueso to the “succulent” ribeye fajitas.

Odam particularly praised Polvos’ interior Mexican dishes:

You’ll find bright shrimp stewed in a Veracruzano sauce, light with tomatoes, cilantro and onions ($18), and Oaxaca gets a nod with rich, nutty, impossibly thick mole that you can order to top your juicy shredded chicken enchiladas ($13).

Odam rated the restaurant highly, giving it an 8.5 out of 10, and called it one of the few restaurants that can “actually give visitors and locals a sense of what the city is truly all about.”

Austin Monthly critic Jolène Bouchon reviewed Hyde Park Italian spot Uncle Nicky’s this week, and found it to be a true, unfussy neighborhood gem. She noted the compact menu focused on “super fresh, well-curated ingredients.”

Bouchon praised the baccala mantecato tostato (“substantial and savory”) as well as the meatballs (“heavenly”), though she didn’t love the ‘njuda and gorgonzola tostato. However, her favorite bite was the sardines:

I had to just about fight my son for the last bite of the sardines: Served in the tin, a bright salsa verde cuts through the fish’s oily brine, and when paired with the accompanying Ritz crackers, it makes for a salty-rich bite with just enough tang. It’s heaven.

Bouchon also noted the baked goods, baked by Juniper pastry chef Derrick Flynn, were excellent, particularly the bombolini and cruller, as was the “not-too-sweet” gelato. She did quibble that portion sizes are on the small side, but that “each new bite was delightful.”

ON THE BLOGS: AceZula said Charm BBQ Chicken had some of the best Korean fried chicken in Austin. A Taste of Koko called Wonder Bar in the Domain “every Instagrammer’s dream,” especially getting a cocktail with her face printed on it.

Polvos [Downtown]

360 Nueces Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Visit Website

Uncle Nicky's

4222 Duval Street, Austin, Texas 78751 Visit Website